China's Covid-19 vaccines were developed fast, rolled out rapidly around the world and proclaimed by President Xi Jinping as a 'global public good' to showcase his country's benevolence.
Hundreds of millions of doses have been despatched abroad after being sold to 28 countries and given away free to more than 60 poorer or strategically important places in an attempt to plug supply gaps around the globe.
This vaccine diplomacy – branded by Beijing as the Health Silk Road – is a key part of the Communist regime's propaganda drive after its early cover-ups inflamed the pandemic and amid growing global suspicions over the virus's true origins.
Yet Singapore's supplies have been sitting in storage since February. Several countries, including Poland, South Korea and Vietnam, rejected the vaccine offer due to the lack of reliable data about efficacy or trials. The pro-China president of the Philippines declined his shot.
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China's Covid-19 vaccines were proclaimed by President Xi Jinping as a 'global public good' to showcase his country's benevolence
Chile used a Chinese vaccine in one of the world's fastest vaccination drives, but then saw a strange surge in Covid cases. In the UAE, some recipients had to be given a third injection after two were found to deliver insufficient immunity.
Other nations have been left infuriated by supply failures. Turkey's president rebuked China's foreign minister over shortfalls that forced the closure of vaccination sites, and now cases have exploded.
In Mexico, delays have forced the postponement of second doses.
So are China's efforts to exploit the desperate global desire for protection, which have seen it use vaccines as a weapon to encourage nations to toe its line over Taiwan and accept technology companies such as Huawei, suddenly backfiring?
This weekend, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is weighing up available data to decide whether to give emergency use listing to two key Chinese vaccines, a safety endorsement that guides regulatory agencies around the world.
The move comes amid concerns over the lack of peer-reviewed studies and published data on clinical trials of the vaccines, unlike those developed by Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson that have received a WHO listing.
'We don't have a lot of clarity about them, which is very unusual,' says Peter English, a British expert on vaccines and communicable diseases, who is concerned about the wide range of results from countries using Chinese vaccines.
People wearing face masks walk by others lining up for a Covid vaccine in Beijing last monthInsurance Loans Mortgage Attorney Credit Lawyer
Chong Ja Ian, professor of political science at the National University of Singapore, told the Washington Post his government had accepted a Chinese vaccine to avoid giving